Jordan Vineyard and Winery celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and with it, this iconic Healdsburg winery has tapped star chef Daniel Beal to usher its vibrant culinary program into a new era. This award-winning, certified sustainable winery located in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley offers a robust culinary program that draws on the 1,200 acres of sustainably farmed hills and vineyards, including olive oil. Jordan Estate extra virgin olive and estate honey, plus an on-site garden with hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables.
In honor of the winery’s 50th anniversary, Chef Beal curated a series of unique dining experiences for members and visitors, showcasing the estate’s rich history, hospitality and charming setting through cuisine inventive. This festive year culminates with the next dinner of decades November 18.
Chef Beal will host a five-course wine pairing dinner, including a special vintage of Russian Valley Chardonnay from the Jordan River and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley. There will also be a special side-by-side release of the first 1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon with our 2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary vintage.
As Executive Chef, Chef Beal seeks to deliver seasonally-focused coastal California cuisine designed to complement Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon and Burgundy-style Chardonnay wines. With an impressive resume that includes time at Michelin-starred Benu; three Michelin stars Atelier Crenn; and the three-star Michelin restaurant, Alinea, he is delighted to have the unique opportunity to cook with the freshest ingredients, straight from the estate, rather than having to endlessly search for the highest quality ingredients at home. ‘foreign.
“My goal is to create dishes with the majority of what is grown on the farm, so that we serve customers the freshest offerings possible, but with an interesting and modern twist,” explains Chef Beal.
“Farm-to-table is a common catch-all phrase that many restaurants use but, in our case, we really harvest ingredients on the property, straight from the ground and from the trees and share them with our customers – we don’t. don’t even refrigerate produce because we harvest it in the morning and use it later in the day.”
We spoke with Chef Daniel Beal about his goals, cooking styles, wine pairings and more. Here’s what he had to say.
What are the main things you want to change, transform or improve with Jordan’s culinary program?
The opportunities for culinary growth and development at Jordan Vineyard & Winery are truly endless. I want to focus on activating the existing spaces of the property where food is prepared or served to our customers, in an exciting new way. For example, on some of our tours and tastings, guests are guided through the cellar garden where the team and I buy most of the produce that ends up on the plate.
I want to elevate this experience by incorporating an immersive element – whether it’s wrapping a freshly picked fig with a piece of homemade prosciutto directly under the canopy of fig trees in the garden or completing a tasting experience at Vista Point with a lunch that is grilled and served by a chef in front of the diners. I plan to not only improve the culinary offerings, but also have my team engage directly with guests, adopting Jordan’s warm and hospitality-focused approach.
Talk about your cooking style and philosophies. How do you see the food-wine pairings?
My style of cooking is quite simple – I focus on preparing really good tasting, quality food. Although I consider myself technical, I also find it extremely important to focus on transforming ingredients into dishes that are as clean and delicious as they are inspiring and artfully presented.
With Jordanian roots in French winemaking, I often incorporate classic French techniques, dishes and practices into my cooking so that whatever comes out of the kitchen complements and enhances Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay-style wines. European from Jordan.
What are the highlights of the season that you are most proud of at the moment?
With 1,200 acres of land and an on-site garden and farm, there is plenty of room to grow seasonal fruits and vegetables all year round. Right now it’s persimmon season and Jordan has about five trees on his property, bearing two different types of persimmons – the Hachiya and the Fuyu.
I’m particularly excited about Hachiya persimmons, because the same way they’re traditionally prepared in Japan, we peel and hang these fruits to dry for three to six weeks, then massage them by hand until soft. they turn into a candy-like treat. called Hoshigaki. What makes Jordan’s Hoshigaki unique is that we dry the persimmons in our barrel, so some of the French oak flavor is naturally infused into the fruit.
Talk about how your previous experiences led to this exciting new role.
In each of the foodie environments I worked in before Jordan, my goal was to transform ingredients into something completely different, leaning into molecular gastronomy. Jordan is completely different in that I have the opportunity to cook with the freshest ingredients you can get, straight from the source, rather than sourcing the highest quality ingredients from around the world.
I still draw on my past as a restaurateur and apply certain aspects of molecular gastronomy to my dishes, but the difference is that the ingredients are not unrecognizable. I’m thrilled to let the estate’s seasonal produce that I worked with the agriculture team to plant and harvest guide my creativity, from fall to winter, spring to summer.